Red-hot Robert Covington Out for Sixers Tonight at Dallas

DALLAS - Robert Covington will miss Wednesday's game against the Mavericks because of a right hand contusion as the Sixers look to the long-term benefits of his sitting this one out.

Covington suffered the injury at the end of the first half in Monday's win against the Kings. He stayed in the game but had swelling when he woke up on Tuesday. 

"The last play when DeMarcus (Cousins) got the rebound, I forgot how it happened, but I went in and he came down and my hand somehow got lodged in between," Covington said after Sixers shootaround with tape on his hand. "I felt my knuckles pop. It was a simple jam, not too bad."

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Brett Brown covets Covington's defensive presence in the starting lineup. Offensively, he has been hitting a stride, too. Covington is averaging 15.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.8 steals in the last five games. On Monday, he became the second player in the NBA this season to record two consecutive games with 20-plus points, 10-plus rebounds and 3-plus steals.

Brown doesn't want to take any chances as he eyes the upcoming schedule. Covington's status for Thursday's game against the Spurs is uncertain. 

"It truly is a day-to-day thing," Brown said. "The thing that I don't want to do, and this was my instruction to the medical staff and to Robert, I don't want to play catch-up. We have nine games I think in 16 days, our schedule is very dense. To just have to play catch-up with him the whole week where he's never really as healthy as we need him to be, I don't want to do that. I will avoid that at all costs. So if it means he also misses the San Antonio game but is strong up until the All-Star break ends and we're not playing catch-up on the road, then that's what we will do."

Brown has not determined who will replace Covington in the lineup. What is decided is Jahlil Okafor will start and Nerlens Noel will come off the bench as Joel Embiid (left knee contusion) is not with the team. Okafor scored a career-high 31 points last season against the Mavericks in Dallas.

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